Baltimore, Maryland, is a bona fide food lovers destination in the Mid-Atlantic region, thanks to its proximity to the Chesapeake Bay. Charm City's most beloved, iconic food is undoubtedly the blue crab. Many people travel far and wide to indulge in the quintessential Maryland favorite. Baltimore's exciting food and drink scenes extend far beyond the conventional crustacean, though. Treat yourself! If Baltimore is high on your food travel bucket list, consider this invigorating itinerary for a weekend getaway filled with gustatory gratification and quixotic quaffing.
Where to Stay in Baltimore
If you're willing to splurge a bit on your accommodations, many boutique hotels in Baltimore will fit the bill for luxury, comfort, and heady indulgence. Some have emphasized the food & drink experience to enhance a guest's stay and satiate any cravings.
101 West Monument Street | 888-591-1234
In the heart of Baltimore's historic Mount Vernon neighborhood, the Revival Hotel is an art lovers utopia in a tastefully renovated building. Highlights include Topside, a spectacular rooftop restaurant overlooking the historic district. Nosh with a view, then descend to the basement speakeasy, B-Side, to enjoy spirit-forward cocktails featuring vintage spirits and local ingredients. Then after a fantastic night's sleep, wake up and jumpstart your day at the 'Dashery Café for coffee and a quick breakfast nibble before exploring downtown Baltimore.
The Ivy Hotel
205 East Biddle Street | 410-514-6500
The Ivy Hotel is also located in the city's heart, the former opulent mansion of a gilded age industrialist. The Ivy is a grand hotel oozing with extravagance and a perfect choice for an upscale retreat with all the frills. Among the sumptuous amenities are plush rooms and suites, an on-site spa, music and game room with billiards and puzzles, elegant French-inspired bistro Magdelena featuring fancy caviar service, and serve yourself cocktails at The Mansion Bar.
1840s Carrollton Inn
50 Albemarle Street | 410‐385‐1840
1840s Carrollton Inn is truly a step back in time. Located in Jonestown, just a short stroll from the Inner Harbor, this 19th-century bed and breakfast and event venue feature stately furnished rooms and suites with king-size or Queen-sized beds, whirlpool tubs, and marble fireplaces. While the hotel does not offer an on-site restaurant, it's mere steps from Little Italy, where you can choose from many legendary Italian restaurants, of which Baltimore is famous.
If you're not into the boutique hotel thing, there are many Airbnb options in the Canton, Fells Point, and Patterson Park neighborhoods which will put you close to all the action and good eats.
Where to Eat in Baltimore
Baltimore's food scene is hot and getting hotter for both locals and tourists alike. No matter your taste, there is an eatery or restaurant in Baltimore that will appease your appetite.
Gunther & Co.
3650 Toone Street | 443-869-6874
Gunther and Co, located in the trendy Brewers Hill neighborhood, promises a sensory experience with globally influenced, locally spun American cuisine highlighting ingredients and flavor. Named one of Baltimore's 50 best restaurants, it is also known for its guileful libations and discerning wine list. There's also an inviting 50-seat outdoor dining space complete with lounge seating, living walls, and a flower and herb garden.
Cross Street Market
1065 South Charles Street
Cross Street Market located in the historic Federal Hill neighborhood, dates back to the 1840s as a city market. Today it is a food connoisseur's paradise featuring many cuisines, classic local dishes, and beverages. Have a lunchtime nosh at one of over a dozen food vendors, and then head to the Old Line Cocktail and Wine Bar for a cocktail, beer, or glass of wine before carrying on with your day.
123 South Chester Street | 443-627-8369
Charmed Kitchen, located in the quiet Butcher's Hill neighborhood, adjacent to Patterson Park and Fells Point, is a local gem a bit off the tourist path. With food for everyone, from breakfast, brunch, and lunch, to dinner and drinks, Charmed has all the bases covered for a quaint and comforting meal.
2108 Eastern Avenue | 443-759-6464
Johnny Rad's offers more than just great pizza; the hip Upper Fells Point tavern features creative bar fare as well as vegan and vegetarian selections.
Where to Drink in Baltimore
Baltimore is a drinker's town brimming with bars, cocktail lounges, pubs, and other hot spots where plentiful socializing and liquid refreshment opportunities converge and thrive.
Old Line Spirits
200 South Janney Street | 443-218-9984
Old Line Spirits, located in the diverse Highlandtown neighborhood, is a newer award-winning distillery focusing on single-malt whiskeys and Caribbean rums. With multiple spaces on-site to relax and enjoy, Old Line Spirits is a great spot for imbibing with family and friends. The Ready Room taproom and Flight Deck outdoor courtyard bar offers the best of all boozy worlds with a selection of handcrafted cocktails, beer, and wine. Don't forget to take some home!
The Elk Room
1010 Fleet Street | 410-244-5830
Named one of Esquire's Best Bars in America, The Elk Room, located in the Harbor East neighborhood, is a Baltimore speakeasy that pays homage to Prohibition-era intemperance with an ingenious menu of top-shelf cocktails.
1639 Thames Street | 443-438-3296
Rye proves that you don't need an extensive cocktail menu to demonstrate intoxicating prowess. Celebrating the 'art of the drink,' Rye in Fells Point specializes in craft cocktails marrying classic and innovative techniques.
Wet City Brewing
223 West Chase Street | 443-873-6699
If craft beers are more your speed, check out Wet City Brewing, an accolade-collecting nano-brewery located in the Mid-Town Belvedere neighborhood of central Baltimore. House brewed beers range from IPAs to sours, lagers to stouts, and even hard seltzers on draught. Cheers!
BONUS: Baltimore from Above!
Old Line Spirits co-founder Arch Watkins recommends Charm City Helicopters for a helicopter tour of Baltimore and nearby environs. If you're feeling a bit spendy, get a bird's eye view of the city and the Chesapeake Bay area on these amazing aerial tours.
Baltimore is a bustling, delicious destination worth putting on your Mid-Atlantic travel docket. No matter where you stay, eat or drink in Baltimore, you'll want for nothing during your visit. I'd love to hear about your favorite places to bunk or dine in the city. Let me know in the comments.
Marilyn Johnson is a freelance food and travel writer covering the food and drink scene of Philadelphia, South Jersey, and beyond. Food news: firstname.lastname@example.org. Travel tips: email@example.com.